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Reflecting

October 11, 2011

More is being said in the media about the Wall St. occupation but much of it is about the lack of a clear purpose along the lines of ‘Yes, ok, but what do they want?”.

It reminds me of a time – 1984 – when I found myself sharing a platform with a NATO general ,I was living at the women’s camp at Greenham Common at the time which is how this unlikely happenstance came about. I was polite, but passionate, in saying that nuclear weapons in particular, and weapons in general, were not held with my consent or in my name.

He smiled, quite kindly, and said “Yes, quite so, but in the real world they are necessary for our defence………….” and so on for a very long time.

More than anything what struck me was the reference to the ‘real’ world, by which he meant his world. His world being a world where my opinions counted for nothing at all. Furthermore by saying I wanted a world without violence he was certain that this was an impossibility. He could not imagine such a thing. Nor could many other people. The women who lived at, or who supported, the camp were the subject of unremitting hostility in most of the media.

So it is with the Wall St occupation.  I haven’t spoken to any of the people there. Still, I think I’ve got the gist of what they are saying, just as millions of people got the gist of what I was saying, whether or not they thought it was a possible reality. I think they are saying this is enough. We have had enough of this. We’ve got the picture. Our ‘democratically elected’ politicians aren’t going to do anything about this, nor, for now, are most other people in our ‘democracies’ but we are.

In both instances it is, of course, ‘The Kings New Clothes’.  Daring to say the unsayable. Actually being in the real world.

In this real world children, women and men are killed, maimed, tortured, raped, starved, exploited and humiliated day in and day out. Meanwhile vast shopping malls are opened, energy prices rise, unemployment increases, more and more people are deeply anxious about the permanence of their current home. This is just a fraction of the real world and, more to the point, it is a real world which we can clearly see will not be healed by nuclear weapons or ‘conventional’ war or the continued plundering of our resources which means everything on earth including us.

It’s a lovely sunny morning here so I’m going to do some gardening, but I think I’ll try, one more time, to get to grips with Marx.

 

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